My Awefull Life » A Pilgrimage of Wonder

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Sweet, Amazing, Supportive, Prayer Warrioring Friends-

We received an email this morning not only answering prayers, but exceeding them – it said our case was submitted to the US Embassy on 12/30! That means we are potentially a week ahead of what our hearts have been prepared for – the exceeding faithfulness of God is overwhelming. We still have miles to go, but this puts us in the final stage of the marathon, and we are celebrating. Celebrating another opportunity to wait, another day to surrender, another hour to whisper, “I trust you, Lord.”

From here we are awaiting an email from the Embassy. An email we are believing and hoping will tell us we have been cleared to travel back to Addis and bring our Lulu home! Our agency has said the response time of the Embassy has varied once a case is submitted – from a few days to a couple weeks. They could respond in one of a few ways. 1. We could be cleared to travel. Obviously this is the goal and most favorable response. 2. They could respond saying they have received our case and are reviewing it. 3. They could email and say they need more information or harder yet, they are requiring further investigation in our case. This news could delay our bringing Lu home for weeks or even months.

Given it has almost been a full week since we were submitted (unbeknownst to us) our hope is full to receive the news we have been waiting so long for, very very soon! There are still potential hangups and delays as mentioned above, and while we have to prepare and pray for continued peace regardless, we know first-hand the promises of God are just that, promises. So, as wild and chaotic as it could be to organize, please join us in praying we are cleared to travel in the next few days. It would be the most incredibly welcomed chaos, and our home would be bursting with unorganized joy! Thank you faithful ones – hearts are full today, made fuller by the very real experience of the days when they have been emptied out. The struggle makes the joyful moments real and full and so so worth the fire.

With all Faith, Hope & Love,

-Sarah

  • dabney - Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!!! Will continue to pray for God to move those mountains!!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Rebecca - Sarah- I’m so happy for you! I will keep praying that everything goes smoothly!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Clark - I live in Saltillo, Mississippi and I am the librarian at our primary school. A dear friend in Idaho sent me the beautiful painting of Africa that Emma painted. It is framed and in our library. I thought she would be proud and thankful to hear that. I adopted 3 children from China. I remember the great joy and anticipation of each adoption. God’s great blessings to you all. Kathy ClarkReplyCancel

    • sarahrichmond - Kathy- Wow, thank you for writing. We are blow away by God’s weaving of this story by way of a fired-up 1st grader. 🙂 Emma loves reading and the library and she is going to be thrilled to receive your note. Thank you so so much for being a part of the journey, we are humbled and grateful. – SarahReplyCancel

Last night as I headed to bed Rob and I talked about going to sleep full of hope for a flurry of good news for the day to follow, while also having a heart prepared and steadfast for the strong possibility of another day with no news at all. I love the NASB translation of Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We must have faith to have hope. Something Pastor Bill Johnson posted yesterday on his facebook page caught my eye as I was in the very midst of falling back into the arms of faith to find hope. He said, “Any area of my life for which I have no hope is under the influence of a lie.” Yeah, that… So we hope by way of faith and deny the lie of unbelief, the one that says it is hopeless to go to sleep filled with hope, only to wake for another round of disappointment. That lie. But there has to be more, something to bridge us from faith to hope and back again when the disappointment and discouragements come in their inevitable way. Faith, Hope,

Love.

“And if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2b) It is Love who makes the fight for faith and the battle for hope, so worth it. It is Love who covers us on the nights when hope is fleeting, as a butterfly escaping a child’s reckless net. It is Love who gives us the companionship of others to remind us of the promises given and kept; resulting in our renewed faith, restored hope, resounding Love.

Today we woke, and began another day, watching, waiting, yet still living the day. Today, we are able to celebrate as news did arrive of a long awaited hurdle cleared on this marathon of red tape, agencies and paperwork. As we give thanks for the adoption decree to have arrived so Lulu’s birth certificate, passport, and medical exam may be filed for, we again wait in Faith for the Hope of swift return to a beautiful baby girl, whom we all desperately Love.

  • toni birdsong - A beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you. Faith, Hope, Love intertwined in our DNA … each carries the others on the uncertain days; all work together for good. Not for sissies to be sure. Only for the brave. And we are brave because He is able.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - She is just beautiful! Been thinking of you and hoping you hop on the plane soon to bring her home.ReplyCancel

I turned 34 yesterday. And in thinking over the road ahead of 34, I spent a lot of time reviewing the journey of 33. It is believed Jesus was 33 when He went to the cross and rose again, and in many ways my life was resurrected at 33 after finally understanding it is in the place of dying to myself where life lays in wait. I had an awakening, and it changed me. Some would even testify my very physical appearance was altered. Light can do that- change an image, alter a landscape, ignite a life. And it is a gift. A gift of wonder. I lived many a 33 days in wonder, my eyes having been opened to a deeper reality than I had ever known. In awe of a richer life, one I had heard others speak of, but never understood that I didn’t understand- that is, until I understood. The road down 33 wasn’t always a smooth ride, often times harder than any of those previously traveled 20-something paths, but it was enveloped in purpose and peace spurring me on toward 34. The wonder, always around.

Then, one month ago Africa. Lulu. Us. God. Wonder.

Today, I sit here embarking on 34, and while wonder still permeates – the face of it has changed, for now. I seem to have lost the marveling wonder over the tiniest bits of beauty around me, as I wait in this house wondering when the phone will ring with word of our baby girl. I sit here with tears staining my shirt, full of wonder of how much longer the fight and still, why no word? I wonder how she is, I wonder what to tell our friends, our children, I wonder why I am so angry. And maybe most of all, I am full of wonder over how quietly and quickly the Wonder of my 33 could be overrun by this obnoxious doubt, this crippling unbelief. And I wonder…how do I get back to the Wonder?

How can a season and a path be so completely right and ordained, while simultaneously being so wrong and off-track? How do I celebrate birthdays and school recitals and Rudolph, while praying and fighting endlessly for the one who isn’t yet here for the celebration? From where I stand right now, I can’t see beyond my hand in front of my face so I do all I know to do and keep putting one foot in front of the other and calling for help. God, I believe. Please, help my unbelief. Please, help me see. Please. Bring me back home to the Wonder.

Thanks for loving us through this, even on the foggy days.
xo,
-Sarah

 

  • tonibirdsong - Sarah – thanks for sharing this.

    So many people are for you and praying for you and for your little Lulu. It’s just my experience I’m sharing but some days—like this day—you need to rest your heart … and your mind … and let the prayers of others carry you. Every detail of this day is in God’s keeping and that means that everything is okay . . . and everything is going to be okay.

    I can’t imagine your frustration but I can relate in my own realm. I struggle with the lows and often find most of my time is spent battling my way back to the surface for a breath of fresh air — aka — the Wonder. I often spend most of my time kicking myself because my faith should be stronger, my wisdom should carry me over the jags and crags. Still, I struggle. A lot.

    Every day demands fresh Wonder. I’ve quit expecting it to appear. Yesterday’s grace and Wonder isn’t sufficient for today. You have to climb the high dive and leap straight into the heart of God each and every day. Dive deep. Deeper. Don’t come up until you’ve got that Wonder clenched in your teeth. Sounds brutal but such is this dented up planet . . . not yet home . . . always diving for the Wonder.

    But you are not alone. We’re here. And you are loved. We will man your post with prayer while your precious, able, warrior heart dives deep and sweet into the cool abyss of God. And rests.

    It’s gonna be okay siser. More than ok. Because He promises. And He is not a promise breaker.

    My life verse . . . becasue I spend most of my time chasing slippery Wonder . . .

    Lamentations 3:22-23:

    Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    XOXXOXOXOXOXOReplyCancel